Denmark vs Croatia: Super Mario caps victory over devastated Danes

Denmark vs Croatia: Super Mario caps victory over devastated Danes

A Luka Modrić-inspired Croatia turned in an impressive second-half display to beat Denmark 1-0 at the Parken Stadium, as Mario Pašalić’s goal gave the Vatreni a third consecutive win over the Danes, as well as their first of this UEFA Nations League (UNL) campaign.

Kasper Hjulmand’s side may have lost their last two meetings with Croatia before kickoff, but they were playing all the football in opening exchanges. In one notable flashpoint, Šime Vrsaljko’s clearance fell into the path of Andreas Cornelius just inside the area, but the striker’s first-time half-volley flew just over the crossbar. The best chance of the first half came when Cornelius’ curling effort from outside the area was well saved by the diving Dominik Livaković, after Mikkel Damsgaard had done well to win back possession. Denmark thought they had taken the lead with the interval approaching, but Mæhle was adjudged to have fouled Vrsaljko before squaring to Cornelius to tap into an empty net. Evergreen and a hugely dynamic influence, Croatia captain Modrić was then introduced at the start of the second half, as he came on to make his 151st appearance for his country, meaning he is now the seventh-most capped European. With the Real Madrid man beginning to have a growing influence on the game, all present could sense the momentum beginning to swing Croatia’s way as the second-half wore on, and Zlatko Dalić’s side were able to make the most of it with just over 20 minutes remaining. Marcelo Brozović’s cross into the area was headed on by Andrej Kramarić and came off Højbjerg before falling into the path of Mario Pašalić, who stretched out to hook the ball under Schmeichel to make it 1-0. The hosts pushed hard to find an equaliser in the closing stages, but they were kept at bay by the resolute Croatians, who held on to move off the foot of the Group A1 table. Despite this blip, Denmark remain top heading into the fourth round of fixtures, as a first piece of silverware since 1992 remains the ultimate dream.

Standings

Pos Team Pl SD Pts W D L SF SA
1. Croatia 6 +2 13 4 1 1 8 6
2. Denmark 6 +4 12 4 0 2 9 5
3. France 6 -2 5 1 2 3 5 7
4. Austria 6 -4 4 1 1 4 6 10

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Last modified on Friday, 10/06/2022

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